Category Archives: opinion

Lovers Lane meets Public Relations. Is the PR game influencing Harry’s happily ever after?

I feel sad for Prince Harry.

Now before you unleash fury on me, hear me out. Yes, he’s set to inherit a boatload of dolla bills from his mother’s estate. He lives in a palace, gorgeous women fawn over him wherever he goes, and well, shit, he’s a Prince, so there’s that… But, in reality, is the life of The Spare, really all it’s cracked up to be? We’ve heard him say, numerous times, that it ain’t all rainbows and unicorns, he’s even expressed how crappy it is to be single and searching for someone, famously saying, “The job that it entails…look at me, I’m 27 years old and not so much searching for someone to fulfill the role, but obviously finding someone that would be willing to take it on.” While Hot Harry has never been one to stay on message, this particular left turn about finding love, may give us a bit of insight into the PR Machine that is The Firm.
Continue reading Lovers Lane meets Public Relations. Is the PR game influencing Harry’s happily ever after?


“I Wanna Marry ‘Harry'” got yanked

I originally thought I was going to watch this show and do something like witty recaps, thoughtful treatises on modern pop culture and misogyny, memes of the contestants with cat faces. I did that for two episodes (not the cat faces) but then it just got too damn boring. But shows like this really aren’t my thing. Surely someone was enjoying it, I thought. I apparently thought wrong. Four episodes in and “I Wanna Marry ‘Harry'” got the gong. (Those of you born in the 70s got that.)

After the first episode – which gave us textbook foreshadowing with its horrible ratings – I approached the show’s PR about doing an email Q&A with “Not Really Prince Harry” Matt Hicks. While the two posts I had made on the show were snarky I was kind to Mr. Hicks. He was kind of growing on me and he surely had the most interesting experience in this whole charade. I had asked him via social media if I could use his personal Instagram photos and he was very happy to oblige. Surely he would be allowed to answer five questions by email?

I told the US and UK press peeps what I wanted and some of the TV appearances I had made as well as publications I had been quoted in – just a little self-horn blowing so they would know pimping an interview to my 10k+ followers might help their failing ratings. Instead I was told “unfortunately Matt’s (sic) has a busy schedule, therefore we are unable to accommodate your request.” Hmm, his Twitter and Instagram sure didn’t make him seem busy. (Btw, a PR friend told me I might have gotten a different response if I had removed my snarky recaps before asking. Whatevs.)

As a consolation prize I was sent a press pack and told I could use the “syndicated” interview it contained. Instead of rubbing this massive fail of a show’s face in the dirt by cut and pasting that interview and interjecting it with LOLZ, I’ll just put the whole press pack here. Enjoy.

(Oh, and all the eps are now on Fox’s website. If you bother to watch the finale, tell me who won. Or not. Whatever.)

Actor Matt Hicks in front of Fox tv backdrop

“I Wanna Marry ‘Harry'” – Don’t hate (too much)

(Photo courtesy of Matt Hicks)

First ep op-ed

I can’t believe I’m defending a reality show, much less a dating one, but here goes. The amount of vitriol towards this show I’ve seen on Twitter and via reviews is ill-informed at best and down right mean at worst. First off, let’s review the facts.

Continue reading “I Wanna Marry ‘Harry’” – Don’t hate (too much)

Sentebale and the Dorchester Hotel Collection

This past Wednesday (May 7th) Sentebale celebrated their 10th anniversary in a grand affair at the Dorchester Hotel Park Lane in London. Sentebale has done much good in the past decade. You can’t discount the difference Prince Harry and Prince Seesio have made in the lives of Lesotho youth. And now Harry is looking to expand their work to impoverished youth in other countries. (He recently took a private trip to Botswana apparently to scout out opportunities for Sentebale to do work there.)

Sentebale is especially remarkable as it is Harry’s own charity. It’s part of a royal’s job description to participate in and be patrons of charities. But you can see his true dedication to his when he goes above and beyond such as walking to the South Pole with Walking With The Wounded. Or, in this case, founding his own organization at the tender age of 20. He deserves praise and respect for that. However, I’ve been disappointed as of late with some choices this organization has made in terms of whose support they accept.

I wrote last fall about Harry attending a dinner in honor of Sentebale hosted by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoumwas, vice-president and prime minster of the UAE and ruler of Dubai. Dubai does not a have great record for human rights or equality for women. I imagine the $1 million the Sheikh raised for Sentebale provided little consolation for the victims of sexual assault who have been treated with injustice and cruelty by the UAE’s government.

This week, Sentebale’s celebration party was held at a Dorchester hotel. The Dorchester Collection of hotels has recently become the focus of an international boycott including support from many notable celebrities such as Stephen Fry and Sir Richard Branson. The boycott stems from the company’s financial ties to Brunei’s finance ministry. Its sultanate has recently enacted severe Sharia law in his nation. Cruel punishments such as public stoning for “crimes” like homosexuality and adultery are now in play in Brunei. It is a horrible violation of basic human rights.

Now it is quite possible (and likely) that the Sentebale party was booked long before this boycott began. However, I think it would behoove the organization to speak publicly about their involvement and the crimes being committed by Brunei. It is difficult to stomach such a noble charity remaining silent while others, such as Richard Branson whose family has been close to both Princes Harry and William since they were children, stand up and demand justice. In fact, Branson said “No @Virgin employee, nor our family, will stay at Dorchester Hotels until the Sultan abides by basic human rights.” And Sentebale can say nothing?

This reminds me of the public outcry over the apparent hypocrisy of Harry and William launching new Tusk Trust initiatives days after returning from a hunting trip. Shortly after, a (very old) photo of Harry standing proudly over a dead wildebeest was released to more outrage. Granted, both of those hunting trips were perfectly legal but so was elephant hunting when William’s forefathers first took to Africa, helping lead to the animal’s current precarious status. For them to make no comment on people’s outrage at the contrast of their actions versus their words was disheartening.

I believe Harry and his brother are good people at heart and absolutely use their positions to do good work. But when they stay silent while people criticize them for seemingly hypocritical actions, it detracts from their good efforts. It smacks of privilege and the ability to pick and choose your concerns. Accepting money – or in the case of the party at the Dorchester – giving money to people and countries who commit human rights violations ultimately goes against the very wrongs Sentebale is trying to right.

So what say you, HRH? Do you care about the public’s concerns and anger or can we only expect you to continue to have a tin ear to injustices that don’t fit into your own agenda?

Two Princes in the Dirty

Before I get started note that I don’t plan on reviving @hwaleswatch. Tweeting every news item that pops up and letting you know that Prince Harry just farted at the All Star Lanes or bought a frappucino two minutes ago takes too much time (also: boring.) Okay, I lied. I succumb too easily to peer pressure and am apparently a masochist. I’m giving @hwaleswatch a trial run to see if I really want it back in my life or not.

But I’ve been unable to completely give up royal watching and my resolve to do so is tested by constant pleas to start tweeting again. So I’m thinking of blogging here semi-regularly just to get my royal ‘pinions out there. This would also spare my non-royal twitter followers who DGAF about the Kardashians of Kensington Palace. ( I just coined that term on my other blog. You like it?) Maybe there will even be some guest bloggers now and then.

Let’s do it. This week was all about the clusterfuck in Bluff City (oh and a breakup.) No pics this time as I don’t have time to run around getting permission to use photos you’ve already seen.

For the tl;dr types, here’s your DM-style bullet points:

Continue reading Two Princes in the Dirty

A Royal Disgrace – Sentebale in Dubai

Prince Harry does great work with Sentebale. The commitment he and Prince Seesio have made to bettering the lives of the children of Lesotho deserves much praise. Making a difference takes money. I imagine turning down large sums of it is something non-profits are loathe to do. But this October 7th fundraising dinner is a poor move no matter how much can be done with the money.

Expensive yachts surrounded by glittering skyscrapers.
Dubai’s glittery illusion.
(Photo courtesy of Ikon Pictures)

Dubai has positioned itself as a modern, friendly city in the midst of Western-hostile, conservative nations. It sells itself as progressive, glamorous, and the perfect holiday destination for Western travelers with money to spend. But it’s a farce.

Continue reading A Royal Disgrace – Sentebale in Dubai